The Cowboys have had issues on the interior defensive line since the beginning of the 2012 season. Between the injury to Jay Ratliff and the suspension of Josh Brent, the team quickly realized how much they were hurting for depth at that position.
Now, news has surfaced that Jay Ratliff was just arrested for a DWI.
Not a good start to a defensive transition.
The Cowboys desperately needed a healthy Ratliff to fill the void on their interior line. Now, it looks increasingly more likely that Ratliff will be a free agent this offseason and the Cowboys will be struggling to find a viable replacement.
There are some decent free agents available; the most notable of the group is Henry Melton. However, the sense is that the Cowboys' pockets aren’t deep enough this offseason to go spend big money on big free agents.
That leaves the draft.
The Cowboys will need to give the interior defensive line a high priority in the NFL draft. With players like Sheldon Richardson and Shariff Floyd heading the group, the Cowboys could nab a franchise player.
Richardson is the most likely; he is an athletic 3-technique that can hold up at the point of attack and be a presence in pass-rushing situations. There is depth at the position, but I believe the Cowboys will look to Richardson in the first round.
The Cowboys will need to think wisely about investing in a very important position in the Tampa 2. One selection in this draft likely won’t be enough.